It has been awhile since I have written a you-know-you-are-getting-older-when column.
This is only interesting because I have only been getting older (as we all do, as each day passes) and I cannot even remember the last time I wrote a column such as this. Because you know you are getting older when you cannot remember the last time you did something, like writing a column about getting older….
You would think these columns would be more frequent because every day is a new and exciting challenge in the world of post-middle age. Ah, good times. So here are a few new things to add to my list. I apologize to all of my younger readers. You might not have any clue what I am talking about now, so just enjoy that. I give you permission to use this opportunity to heckle the old chick writing this. But heed my words, young readers, one day, if your memory is well retained, you will remember chuckling at some of the thoughts that you are about to read and realize that you are now chuckling again because they have happened to you.
A few months ago, when I was babysitting for my 7-year-old bff, I had a hot flash and had to take a bag of frozen vegetables and put them on the back of my neck. She looked at me like I was from Mars, and I had to explain to her that “One day, when you are 50 years old, and you’re having a hot flash, and you are sitting on someone’s couch with a bag of frozen vegetables on your neck, you will remember your old babysitter, who said that one day you will remember this.” Or, like when you become a parent for the first time and someone says, “little kids, little problems, big kids, big problems!” And you genuinely think that toilet training is the biggest problem. Ha ha ha. That has nothing to do with this topic, but I figured I would throw those pearls of wisdom in for good measure.
Anyway, here we go.
You know you are getting old when you can no longer read with your contact lenses in. This turns out to be a real problem when you are driving home from somewhere and you need Waze. You cannot hold the Waze screen further away from your eyes because, well, it doesn’t work like that. Yes, I know I need different contacts. No, I am not ready to make the change yet. And my eye doctor fully supports my diagnosis of extreme denial.
You know you are getting old when you are reading a book that contains quotes about middle age at the beginning of every chapter and you read these quotes out loud to your spouse and say, “Wow, isn’t that so insightful? I totally relate to that. What do you think?” And he looks at you like you are crazy. Which actually isn’t much different than how he usually looks at you….
You know you are getting old when you meet someone who you were friends with at the Concord Hotel in Lake Kiamesha, New York, about 35 years ago, and you say to his kids, “I met your dad when he was even younger than you guys are now,” and they look at you like you are totally crazy (hmm, I think there is a theme here). Sort of like, “Who is this old woman, how was dad ever friends with her, and what is this Ms. Pacman game that she keeps talking about???” I said to their father, “Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were playing Frogger in the arcade? Our kids don’t even know what an arcade is!!”
And even though the whole experience of seeing him after all these years should and did make me feel old, I also felt like I had been in a time machine and it was 1985 again, when I began being pen pals with his older brother. This family lived in Australia (most of them still do) and they were brought to the hotel because the dad was (and still is) an incredible chazzan.
Isn’t it crazy how you can feel young and old at the same time?
Well, that is all for now. Hope some of you enjoyed this one, but that all of you had a happy Chanukah!
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is proud to admit that she keeps her car radio on 106.7 because they play Christmas songs from Thanksgiving until Christmas day. Please don’t tell her sons….